Making a Case for Heat Advisory Watches and Warnings

In the middle of what is traditionally described as the wet or rain season, Grenadians for the first time had to take personal measures to deal with heatwave weather advisories that for some are only heard during the weather segment on USA news networks. “This weekend is forecast to have lower cloud cover, lighter temperature compared to the last few days. Dress appropriately, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid closed spaces, look after the young and old,” was the advisory published by both the Met Office and the National Disaster Management Agency. Explaining that such an advisory will be issued when temperature occurs for two consecutive days beyond the statistical marker of 31.7 degrees Celsius, Gerard Tamar, Head of the Meteorological Office at the Maurice Bishop International Airport said that these advisories are aimed at warning citizens about the weather condition and the need for them to take personal care. The heat advisory warnings were preceded by days and nights of high air temperature which had citizens complaining about the humidity.

The Impact Of Climate Change On The Disabled Communities’ Health In Dominica

Globally, about 1.3 billion people are living with disabilities. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this represents 16% of the world’s population, or 1 in 6 of us. 

In many countries, people with disabilities (PWDs) are mainly seen as members of a vulnerable community, and their skills or abilities are often sidelined or overlooked by the wider society. 

On the Caribbean island of Dominica, the same is true. Although some NGOs and human rights advocates continue to raise awareness regarding the plight and achievement of people with disabilities, civil society and the central government are not doing enough to bolster the community toward sustainability and inclusion. CIJN has identified some of the main challenges affecting the disabled community in Dominica. It is clear that after the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 & Hurricane Maria in 2017, people with disabilities were exposed to more significant risks of noncommunicable diseases, severe physical injury, anxiety disorders, amplified respiratory conditions, infectious diseases, lack of access to medical care and medication and in some cases, even malnutrition.

The Food and Water Challenges of Guyana’s Indigenous Communities

Hovering over the postcard-worthy facade of indigenous communities across Guyana, looms a growing crisis triggered by changing climate conditions which threaten the traditions, health, and communal sustainability of the country’s first peoples. 

Historically, the indigenous people have thrived on diets extracted from the availability of local flora and fauna. But changes in weather patterns and conditions have placed indigenous communities in peril as they confront challenges to food and nutrition security, and access to safe, potable water. 

This dramatic change in daily living has forced changed attitudes toward traditional knowledge and practices. Today, the demands of alternatives confront them. 

Limited access to safe water sources and changes in the location and supply of food supplies, particularly following extreme weather events, have led to nutritional challenges for these communities. 

The Salbora Spring, one of the water sources in Region 8 (DPI Photo)

Guyana does not stand alone on this. On October 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) established an important link. Climate change, the WHO said, is directly contributing to global humanitarian emergencies from heatwaves, wildfires, floods, tropical storms and hurricanes and they are increasing in scale, frequency and intensity.

The High Cost of Subsidised Electricity

Trinidad and Tobago’s 1.4 million citizens are about to learn how decades of subsidized electric rates are going to cost them dearly. The twin-island republic’s once abundant supply of natural gas has been used to generate electricity for residential, business and industrial customers at far below market prices. 

Beginning in the 1970’s, successive governments discounted Trinidad’s electricity costs to everyone. It proved incredibly popular among voters. Today, it is being sold to residential customers at a mere US$ 0.05 per kWh.  That lowest tier price is among the cheapest rates in the world. There have been unwanted consequences as the subsidies distorted the markets.

CARICOM’s Energy Security Dilemma… Can Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname Break New Ground?


In an era of increasing geopolitical upheavals and economic volatility, energy security has become a non-negotiable priority for Caribbean nations. Recognising the importance of achieving this goal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname have stepped up to marry their respective strengths and produce a practical blueprint for energy independence. Towards this end, the trio has signed several non-binding agreements over the years. Following high-level discussions at the Suriname Energy Oil and Gas Summit (SEOGS) in June 2023, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago signed an agreement to establish technical teams to produce feasibility studies on various energy-related issues. Guyana and T&T also signed a similar pact in May 2022, building on another signed in January 2022 with Brazil and Suriname to explore the development of an energy corridor. 

Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana sign Energy MOU – MAY 22, 2022 (Guyana’s Department of Public Information photo)

Their political will is also imbued with the efforts of CARICOM, which more than two decades ago endeavoured to have its 15 member states find common ground on devising a strategy for energy security.

On a High

It’s a sacrament. It’s sacred. It’s how we communicate with our ancestors. Genesis 1:29 says the earth brought forth grass and herb-bearing seed, and the Lord saw that it was good. I don’t see how men could see that it is not,” said Ras I’an, a Rastafarian Priest. 

He drapes a hand-crochet prayer scarf, clutches a Rastafarian flag bearing the lion of Judah and enters the Mount Carmel Tabernacle, tucked in the Barbadian parish of St. John. 

This Tabernacle is different. It has no doors or windows, and the floor is the land.

Creating Standards

High standards mean a world-class product. The specialised standards regulate the agricultural, manufacturing and active pharmaceutical ingredients.  

General standards for the Medicinal Cannabis Industry. (Sourced from Herbal Cannabis for Medical Use: A Spectrum of Regulatory Approaches – World Drug Report 2023)

General standards for the Medicinal Cannabis Industry. (Sourced from Herbal Cannabis for Medical Use: A Spectrum of Regulatory Approaches – World Drug Report 2023)

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released its updated recommendations based on a “multi-year review process conducted by the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD). A sub-report was also created by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) World Drug Report 2023 under the subheading “Contemporary issues on drugs” sub-report 3, “Herbal Cannabis for Medical Use: A Spectrum of Regulatory Approaches”. 

To set a standard, a level is set to constitute what is considered medicinal.

Legislation and Decriminalisation

One of the major hurdles is the contentious issue of legality. It’s the root of funding, investment, industry acceptance and participation.  

One of the Barbados Government’s first steps was to lay the legal framework. The Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Industry Act and the Sacramental Cannabis Act were passed in November 2019, followed by decriminalising measures with the Drug Abuse (Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Act in 2021. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley also pledged that Barbadians will vote in a future referendum on legalising cannabis. Opening paragraph of the Drug Abuse (Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Act 2020 (Designed by Esther Jones)

A news clip explaining the amendments to the Drug Abuse (Prevention and Control) Act.

Online Fraud in St. Kitts and Nevis, a Pervasive Problem for Public, Law Enforcement and Banks

Law enforcement officials say that online scams in the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic in 2020. But how the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF)’track and document these criminal acts makes it hard to know the prevalence of the scams. Thus, the measuring of the crime data continues as an issue. Over the last four years, the territory has seen sophisticated forms of online scams being reported to various law enforcement agencies, and it is proving to be a challenge for the agencies to curb the problem.

A First Look at the Civic Space in Jamaica

The issues arising in the civic space are varied and are tied to basic rights of freedom of expression, speech and thought. It relates to the human spirit at its core and how citizens can convey their sentiments responsibly but without fear or reprisal. Interwoven in the social framework of the civic space is the seeming lack of consideration for members of society who must live with the decisions taken by governments or others who shape their daily lives. It opens the door to suggestions of better informed communities and improved public consultation. This series focuses on the civic space in Jamaica and was supported by the Media Institute of the Caribbean and Internews.